Raise your hands if you’ve heard of Vilredo Paredo. Now, Vilredo Paredo is more than just a really fun name to say multiple times very fast. Go ahead, try it.
Paredo is also known for his discovery in 1896 of what is known as the Paredo Principle. In modern times, it has been called the Law of the Vital Few, or the most popular term, the 80/20 Rule.
Paredo was an Italian Economist, who discovered that eighty percent of the land in Italy was owned by twenty percent of the population. As Paredo studied it more, he learned that almost all economic activity fell in line with the 80/20 Rule. Twenty percent of roads are used eighty percent of the time. Twenty percent of employees are responsible for eighty percent of the results. Twenty percent of your customers make eighty percent of the complaints. And one that really hit home for me- which I want to talk about today, is that twenty percent of a companies products
produce eighty percent of their sales.
So many freelancers and solo business owners are stressed and burdened. Confused by what to do next and what to focus on. So they often wind up doing a little of everything, because they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. Any
opportunity. But, in doing so, they do many things but nothing great.
We were in a similar boat about fourteen years ago with our first business, which was a photography business. Elizabeth and I did “just about everything”. We’d take on family portraits, headshots, weddings, sports and anything else that would pay the bills. During those bleary times, I read The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch. It introduced this concept to me, which was confirmed when I read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss not long after.
Elizabeth and I realized that if we had the courage to find, focus on and grow what our “20%” was, we would make more money, reduce frustration and confusion, and gain back some of our precious time. After doing this internal audit, we couldn’t believe how simple the answer was.
Wedding photography was where we made the lion share of our income, and we didn’t spend that much time on it. As scary as it felt, we revamped our website, eliminating the other options aside from professional sports (which our clients loved), and focused solely on weddings.
Almost overnight, we had a renewed clarity on the work we did. It became more focused, more niche, and our network became tighter and stronger. Within a year, we went from a struggling generality of a business to a six-figure powerhouse, and remaining that way until we moved on from the wedding photography world two years ago.
I tell this to you because I want to know what your 80/20 is. Not only what is the thing that is the twenty percent that brings eighty percent of the results, but almost as importantly, what are the areas where you spend time, energy and money that go into the eighty percent that only bring twenty percent of your results?
Very few exercises can bring such clarity and success so quickly as
figuring out your 80/20.
If you have the answers to the questions above, please email meat email@example.com and let me know. I will be reaching out to a few people to have 1:1 calls to discuss their situation and answering their